HR Planning for 2014

Posted in : HR Updates on 22 January 2014
Angela Schettino
Think People Consulting
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If you are among  those of us who have been absorbed in the ‘to do’ list since returning in January, we offer some practical guidance below  on the kinds of things which HR practitioners might consider at this point in the year. 

Strategic Planning - HR Strategy 2014

It is helpful to pull together a document for you HR strategy if your organisation is not already doing do.  Aside from providing  a clear focus for your activity for the coming year it will set out key actions, timescales and accountabilities.  The HR Strategy document should then be reviewed at regular intervals to track progress and ensure it still reflects and supports organisational strategy as it evolves.

This may seem like obvious advice, but many organisations still don’t formalise it this way, lose focus and miss key opportunities.

Some key considerations include;

  • Skills and Capability -What will be your skills and capability requirements in the coming years?  Can you identify gaps and can these be filled in house? How then does this impact the Learning and Development focus for your current employees and the focus for the Recruitment and Induction plan for the new year?
  • Performance management - Review the impact of your performance management system.  Can this be updated or revised this year to improve the value of the measures in place and the impact of the discussions about performance both for individuals and teams?
  • Reward - In light of what is to come, are there elements of your pay and reward strategy which need attention, e.g. are you able to attract the skills you need and retain the people that will be crucial in delivering the business / organisational plan?  Is reward impacting levels of commitment / engagement, which elements are most important to your employees? Is it time to review the mix of reward both financial and otherwise?
  • Succession planning - Formalise your approach to considering careers and succession plans.  Ensure employees have clear sight of how they might progress their careers with you.
  • Efficiencies and rationalisation - As always it is important to continuously look at the potential for further efficiencies and considering how this might affect the wider business or operation.   Consider resources, contracts and work patterns.
  • Communication and Engagement - often an afterthought.  Communication and Engagement strategy should be high on the agenda for 2014.  Do you have a forum for understanding how well are you communicating and engaging?  What is the communication and engagement plan for the coming year?
  • Wellbeing and Resilience – now considered a fundamental part of HR Strategy.  Particularly employers should be considering  providing employee wellbeing  policies and looking at providing coaching in improving personal resilience, particularly relevant in 2014 when stress has now surpassed chronic illnesses to become the number one cause of long term absence.

HR - Lessons learnt from 2013

January is the best time to review the impact HR initiatives have been having.  Many HR teams are not yet seeking feedback, this is crucial in developing better solutions for your organisation.

  • Have you sought feedback from your business partners and service users about how well HR performed last year?  If not, you may consider providing  a forum or system for collecting and reviewing service levels.  Look at the feedback and put actions for improvement into the HR plan. 
  • What went really well in terms of HR management in 2013?  How can that be built upon in 2014?
  • Consider as individuals with the HR (the whole  team, if there is an HR function) what were personal lessons and how these might be addressed in 2014.
  • What did not go well.  Why not?  What action can be taken to improve in 2014?
  • Look at the internal employment relations trends, e.g. Discipline and Grievance patterns -  were there any lessons coming from those and how can they be addressed?
  • Employee retention - Was there a pattern linked to the loss of capable employees last year?  Are there points that can be addressed this year and included within the HR strategy?  

Legislation / Policies and Procedures

  • Review the legislative changes for 2013 and what is potentially coming up this year and next.  Legal Island is obviously a great source for this information!  For example there is an expectation that 2014 will see amendments to TUPE and protected Disclosure Legislation as well as changes to collective consultation requirements and the unfair dismissal qualifying period.  Watch this space. 
  • Plan in a thorough policy review ensuring you consider changes which are upcoming.  Think about difficulties which have been experienced with your current policies...e.g. do you need to widen / amend disciplinary offence definitions, are there elements of your policies which are ambiguous or missing altogether? 
  • Conduct an administration and Personnel file review - We all put this one at the bottom of the list, but if you haven’t done your review of files in a while, ensure it is planned in and that you follow Data Protection guidance on how long to hold on to files, what to hold on to and how to  dispose of files.  Look at your admin practice in general and consider how this can be improved or streamlined.


  • Start the year with positive and clear communication. Make sure that employees are provided with clear direction about the HR strategy for the upcoming year.  Reflect the ‘personality’ of your organisation when you communicate.  Talk about the  journey that is ahead and what employees can expect to see happening.  
This article is correct at 21/10/2015

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Angela Schettino
Think People Consulting

The main content of this article was provided by Angela Schettino. Contact telephone number is 028 9031 0450 or email

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